REDMOND, Wash. and RESTON, Va. — For the first time ever, advertisers will now be able to see the direct impact that in-game advertisements have on consumer online behavior, thanks to a new research partnership between Massive Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., and comScore, Inc. Through an innovative methodology developed by the two companies, advertisers will get an inside look at the degree to which in-game ads motivate gamers to visit Web sites, conduct brand-related search queries and engage in other online actions, something that previously had gone un-measured.
“We know from 80-plus independently verified post-campaign studies that in-game advertising increases brand engagement,” said JJ Richards, general manager of Massive Inc., the creator of a leading network for dynamic video game advertising. “But what we didn’t know was the correlation between in-game ads and consumer action. Through this partnership with comScore, we will also now be able to measure those consumer actions that result from in-game ads. We think this has the potential to literally ‘change the game’ for both advertisers and publishers who want to improve the effectiveness of their in-game ad efforts.”
Ad Effx Action Lift for Gaming matches in-game console ad serving data from Massive with comScore’s third-party, post-campaign panel data to track and measure in-game advertising effectiveness. By combining Microsoft’s proprietary, non-personally identifying Anonymous ID data, which is common across Xbox LIVE and Microsoft Web properties (known as Windows Live IDs), with user data from comScore’s panel of two million Internet users worldwide, comScore can determine if panelists who saw in-game advertising subsequently visited a brand’s Web site, searched brand-related terms or engaged in other online behaviors important to advertisers.
The methodology is similar to the ad tracking and measurement standards currently accepted for other forms of digital advertising, and maintains strict consumer privacy and anonymity in the process.
Preliminary research conducted by comScore using the new methodology on a number of recent Massive in-game campaigns showed that people exposed to in-game ads demonstrated the following online behaviors when compared to a control group of people who were not exposed to the ads:
· 280 percent increase in visits to a TV channel’s Web site;
· 125 percent increase in search queries for a movie rental brand and 57 percent spike in visits to its Web site; and
· 17 percent increase in visits to entertainment sites after seeing ads for a particular movie.
“We believe Ad Effx Action Lift for Gaming puts in-game advertising campaign measurement on a level playing field with comparable digital media,” said Mike Hurt, senior vice president, comScore. “With this kind of methodology, we are addressing the need for better standards of ad effectiveness measurement across all forms of digital media. Advertisers can now track post-campaign online activity, including direct Web site visits, search queries, and other consumer behaviors among people who have been exposed to in-game ads.”
comScore and Massive have submitted this new methodology to the Advertising Research Foundation for validation.
The announcement coincides with the second annual Microsoft Advertising Gaming Upfront event in New York City — the only event of its kind that showcases new video game titles from leading game publishers to that allow enable advertisers to connect and engage audiences on the Massive in-game advertising network.
About Microsoft Advertising
Microsoft Advertising provides advertisers and publishers with media, tools and services designed to drive deep and profitable engagement with their audiences. This includes a global media network of Microsoft properties such as MSN, Windows Live, Xbox LIVE, and partner properties such as Facebook, WSJ.com and Verizon. The Microsoft Advertiser and Publisher Suites simplify planning and management of campaigns and content, offering a range of services that help advertisers and publishers untangle the complexities of digital media and get more out of their marketing and content investments. Microsoft Advertising makes buying and selling media simple, smart and cost-effective across media and devices spanning 42 markets and 21 languages. Visit http://advertising.microsoft.com for more information.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.